Knicks still in hunt for Ricky Rubio
June 26, 2009
The Knicks are about to officially enter the Ricky Rubio sweepstakes.
Donnie Walsh revealed on Friday that he intends to call his former assistant, Minnesota GM David Kahn, about the availability of Rubio, the fifth overall pick from Thursday's NBA Draft.
Rubio, the highly touted point guard from Spain, would prefer to play in New York. Rubio's father told Marca.com that his son may elect to stay with his club team in Spain for at least another two years.
Minnesota drafted three point guards in the first round, including Jonny Flynn at six. They also drafted Ty Lawson but traded him to Denver. The Knicks could have the inside track on Rubio for several reasons. For one, he wants to play in New York. The other is Walsh's relationship with Kahn that dates back to their days with the Indiana Pacers.
Perhaps the Knicks can work out a multi-player deal where they'll trade at least Wilson Chandler to get Rubio. The Knicks may have to include Jordan Hill and take back the contract of Brian Cardinal.
Hill was drafted eighth overall and the Knicks also traded to get the 29th pick, point guard Toney Douglas from Florida State. Douglas, by the way, will wear No. 23 which was vacated when Quentin Richardson was traded for Dark Milicic. Of course, Douglas is only renting that number until LeBron James signs with the Knicks in 13 months.
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Rubio talk continues to linger
OK, where there's smoke, there's usually fire. But this Ricky Rubio thing is more of a smolder. And on Friday Donnie Walsh blew on the embers to keep them glowing a little, though his rare transparency was curious.
On the day the Knicks introduced first round picks Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas to the media at the MSG Training Center, Walsh acknowledged that he planned to call his former protege, Timberwolves president David Kahn, to check in on the situation involving his decision to select two point guards -- Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn -- with back-to-back picks at No. 5 and 6.
“I haven’t spoken to Minnesota, I will," Walsh said. "I don’t know what’s going on there. He took a lot of point guards so I want to ask him, ‘Why did you do that?’ In a way that kind of helped us because that left us with two players that were, in our mind, really good players. I just want to find out.”
Walsh said Rubio was "very high" on the Knicks draft board but when asked if he would have selected the Spanish guard if he were there at No. 8, Walsh replied, “We would have considered a lot of people at eight, but tht would have meant that the guy that we got would have been gone.”
Multiple sources have said that Rubio was not as highly-regarded by the Knicks as Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans and perhaps not as much as Hill, whom some Knick scouts touted as the second-best player in the draft. But if there is a chance Rubio -- whose father told a Spanish media outlet that his son will most likely remain in Spain for two years (until his current contract with DKV Joventut expires) -- could be acquired for a relatively cheap cost, it's worth a look.
But before we explore the options, you should know that Kahn was on with Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio this morning and vehemently denied any intentions to trade Rubio. Kahn said he was quite aware that Rubio might decide not to report and that's why he took Flynn with the very next pick. The T-Wolves can play Flynn now and take their time dealing with the Rubio situation.
Rubio we're told was desperately hopeful he would somehow wind up with the Knicks and, apparently, is still holding out hope. It is pretty clear that he would immediately report if the Knicks acquired his rights.
But, though Walsh says he will check it out, it is still very unlikely to happen.
I just want to know... If this goes down, will all the Donnie Haters bow down and humble themselves?
Peep the sig my nig!!!! Bye Q, Curry and Jeffries next!